Tip 11 – Philip Lew – Optimizing Call Center Effectiveness

Philip LewThis month’s tip comes from Philip Lew.

Phil has presented at several conferences and exhibitions including InterFaceCTI Expo, and EuroForum and has been published in many call center and networking trade journals. He has been involved in the implementation and integration of call centers for the past 10 years as President and CEO of Pulse Technologies, Sr. VP of EIS International and most recently as an international consultant providing call center product management, engineering and consulting expertise.

Many organizations go through the process of procuring a dialer and justify the costs versus manual dialing or justify a dialer upgrade based on an increase in efficiencies. These efficiencies are often measured in talk time per hour which is then converted into additional revenue per hour. Justifying a dialer or dialer upgrade becomes a simple math exercise based on assumptions in increased productivity.

The next step then becomes when and how to implement inbound/ outbound blending to increase efficiencies even further by increasing time on the phone and decreasing slack time as inbound agents can be used as outbound agents during idle inbound hours.

What is often forgotten is the concept that a dialer simply multiplies or amplifies an existing process with its existing efficiencies (or inefficiencies). What is equally important is the effectiveness of the process in producing the desired result. Typical efficiency measures in an outbound environment include:

  • Contacts made
  • Right Party Contacts
  • Talk time per hour
  • Calls per hour

On the other hand, effectiveness measures may include:

  • Sales per Right Party Contact
  • Sales made
Philip Lew – Optimizing Call Center EffectivenessFor example, if an agent makes 100 contacts and closes 3 sales, this agent is much less effective than an agent who makes 10 contacts and closes 2 sales. This agent making 100 contacts is effectively wasting lots of gas!

The key factor is to determine what the real objectives of your call center are:
  • Collect money
  • Total revenue
  • Lowest cost/ record
  • Make contacts
  • Retain customers
  • Call through a list
  • Get promises to pay
  • Make it to the end of the day

And how the call center measures results?

  • $$ Sold/ collected
  • Customers contacted
  • Campaigns completed
  • On-line vs.paid hours
  • $$ per contact
  • $$ per account
  • promises per hour – $$ per hour
  • dials per hour

By aligning the call center’s objectives with its measured results and taking into account effectiveness as well as efficiency, a call center can optimize its true production.

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